When my youngest daughter, Lizzie, was born, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I grinned from one ear to the other ear. After two baby boys, we finally had a baby girl. My husband and I were truly delighted with our new family member. With my two others, I found dropping the baby weight relatively easy. There was no outrageous dieting or exercise. The excess weight fell off quite easily. But not with Lizzie.
My family GP recognised my older age may have contributed, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t return to my pre-baby weight. This wasn’t about me wanting to be rake-thin. I just wanted to be comfortable in my skin, and as I was, I wasn’t comfortable.
I turned to my lovely mother for her advice. She (shockingly) was no help. She kept telling me all about how she just ‘snapped back’ after having me, her fourth child. If she had magic genes, I certainly didn’t inherit them.
As a new mum, I didn’t have time to go to the gym regularly, and I certainly had enough on my plate without the erratic mood swings that come with crash dieting (ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about). I was lost, but one day, when I picked up Zach from school, I crossed paths with his friend’s mother, who gave me some pointers that actually helped me regain my previous figure, my confidence, and most importantly, my comfort.
Eat at regular times
As a new mum, I tended to think: ‘Baby first, baby second, baby third, me possibly fourth’. I wasn’t eating on a regular basis. If I was in the kitchen and felt hungry, I’d snack on something. I hardly ever sat myself down for a full meal. So, the first thing I did was, I forced myself into a regime. I ate breakfast with my eldest children, I ate lunch at half-past twelve, and dinner at six. I snacked far less, but when I did, I opted for healthier options like celery and carrots.
Thank goodness for whoever invented the stroller! It’s great for kids to get out, and it’s great for you to not be locked up in the house. I scheduled two strolls a day, one in the morning before it got too hot, and one in the evening. I’ve never understood people who use treadmills, and living in Vale, Aveley, half an hour out of Perth, I have no reason to. The scenery is gorgeous (we’re near the Swan Valley) and the people I come across are genuinely pleasant. We’ve actually formed a new mothers walking group, which I highly recommend.
Be lenient with yourself
Don’t expect this to happen in the blink of an eye, and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t. You’re not a yo-yo, and you don’t want to be one (remember, a yo-yo that goes down has to come back up). So give yourself time and enjoy the journey and your new bub
Jocelyn Waterhouse is a proud mum of three darling children. If you can’t find her at home or work, she’s probably out strolling around Vale, Aveley.